If We Know How to Do It … So Will They

With the new emphasis on digital leadership , I strongly believe we as parents and educators need to learn how to develop our own digital identity. How can we truly help guide students to learn concepts of digital citizenship , becoming a digital agent, a digital interactor, etc?

How can we help young people learn how to create change in their community or how to make the world a better place online if we don’t fully understand how to do so ourselves?

Joanna Sanders asks  great questions: What does this new emphasis on digital leadership look like in the classroom? How will this benefit our students?

Learning how to be digital leaders starts the day children are born and is a never-ending lesson. How do we celebrate all the good that our youth do while teaching them about privacy, collaboration and how to vet online sources? How do we become the models they need?

Let it begin with me I say … and yes it is never too late. I started learning how to become a good digital citizen almost five years ago after joining #etmooc. I am still learning today and take every opportunity I can to learn. I have made many mistakes along the way just as I did in my own parenting, teaching and counselling , but I really try to learn from those mistakes and model for others what I am learning daily.

I think we need to give educators the time during their days to learn along with their students. Being proactive means we need to learn alongside the students trying to master these skills we want them to have. They can teach us and we can teach them. If we want to drive change through technology we need to face the fear ourselves and take positive risks online. You may wish to join communities like #immooc, where you will find educators learning every day.

Digital citizenship is essential to what educators do. Join me as I learn along the way. You may find a few tips here .

Digital Citizenship Lessons are vital. Empowering proactive digital learners is a process. If we know how to do it , they will too . What do you think?

 

 

Lessons for a new School Counsellor Lessons 11 and 12

Lesson 11

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Engagement and Collaboration

Collaboration is key to being a 21st century school counselor and working with teachers is one of the greatest collaborative efforts school counselors can make on behalf of students.  Teachers and counselors have to work together to maximize their impact on student achievement and this can be done in a variety of ways.  Whether cross-walking standards for classroom lessons or talking about individual students, this partnership is essential to helping students to be successful.

Julia Hartline

Engaging students and staff is critical when it comes to school counselling.

Student engagement is vital. How we do it can vary.   With so many students in a school you will most likely need to engage students online as well as in person. There are many ways to engage the students whether it is one to one or in groups. Learning to engage online was not easy for me , but it was super helpful. If you are a new School Counsellor #immooc  can help with this.

Here are some things I like to do and ask with students in person.

  • At the end of every session I check in with the student to see how the session went.
  • I will often ask how are you feeling about what we talked about in session today?
  • What is the one thing you will use as a result of our time together today? This allows me to gage if I have been helpful and if there is something I said that the student connected with.
  • Find ways to collaborate with students on student led initiatives on bullying etc.

Engaging Staff. Get to know your staff. Take time to have lunch with them. It is good for you to take a break and get out of your office. Helping students can be very draining at times especially if you are addressing more serious issues, so get out of your office and make time to recharge. Self-Care is important. If your staff feel you are helpful they will most likely refer a student to you.

We are all working together to enhance the success of all students so if students see us collaborating in their best interest while always maintaining confidentiality we will best be able to help them. For more information on teacher counsellor partnerships click here.

Lesson 12

Self Care… not just important Essential

School Counselling can be a very demanding career. I know it can be extremely exhausting as well as invigorating. School Counsellors often hear difficult stories and that can be energy draining. For many students Christmas can be a tough time. It is important for us to take time to heal as well.  Pay attention to how you think , feel and act.

The following article  discusses compassion fatigue and is such an important topic for any new school counsellor, but also for seasoned counsellors as well. Most importantly for all check out these self-care tips here.

Most importantly laugh and be with people who make you laugh and life as a School Counsellor will be so much more enjoyable.

Would love to hear your ideas.

What Do You Think School Is For?

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As I reflect on Seth Godin’s blog today I am thinking about all the educators and what they are doing each and every day as they start a new school year.

Seth reminds us

  1. that digital learning is a revolution that can transform people faster and with more impact
  2. to play as if it matters
  3. that dreams are difficult to build and easy to destroy

Check the rest of his talk out  here.

What do you think school is for and how will you make it better for students?

Ken Robinson always makes us think and I hope he does you too. Both Seth and Ken challenge us to move away from compliance and conforming to celebrating students learning. No learning … no education going on says Ken Robinson. So how do educators best go about helping students learn?

Ken reminds us

  1. that human beings are naturally different and diverse
  2. to light the spark of curiosity
  3. to awaken and empower a culture of creativity
  4. to individualize teaching and learning

Listen to the rest of his talk here:

What do you think school is for?

School Counsellor With An Innovator’s Mindset #IMMOOC

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Why do I keep learning? I think this sums it up.
In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few.” “When the mind is allowed to relax, inspiration often follows… If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything.” Phil Jackson
The Innovator’s Mindset :  Empowering Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity by George Couros is an excellent book for School Counsellors to begin the dialogue of Innovation. Do you have an innovator’s mindset?

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“When you are networked great ideas find you not the other way around”

George Couros

This quote is so true . I have been so fortunate to have great ideas and great people find me. Thanks to all of you.

So many amazing School Counsellors that I have met on twitter definitely have an Innovator’s mindset. I believe an innovator’s mindset continues to thrive, learn, reflect and seek out ways to make a difference.

As a School Counsellor with an Innovator’s Mindset Do you?

  • Start from The Heart
  • Keep Students At The Centre
  • Make Sure You are Helpful
  • Model What You Hope For
  • Utilize the 5 C’s
  • Build Relationships

START FROM THE HEART

In order for a School Counsellor to have an innovator’s mindset we must always begin to speak and listen from our heart to the heart of a child.img_2791

We want the young people that we serve to have the skills to cope effectively with life. They will know pretty quickly if we are genuine and start from our heart.

Starting from the heart involves active listening, compassion, trusting , caring and so much more. Sometimes our students need help, other times they just need the encouragement or support to find new ways to look at the world. Starting from the heart will make a difference.

When you start from the heart you will ask yourself :

  • What are my students strengths?
  • What are my students passionate about?
  • What can I do to help my students ?
  • Do my students have any projects or ideas they might need help executing?
  • What can I do as a School Counsellor that will help students be more successful?
  • How can I assist students in graduating?
  • What can I do differently today, this week, this month, this year to help the students in our school ?
  • How can I collaborate with others so that it benefits students and assist me to learn and grow?

KEEP STUDENTS AT THE CENTER

Passionate School Counsellors who keep students at the center of all they do can have a huge impact in their school communities.  As School Counsellors you know the reason you work with students is to be their advocate.img_2792 Everything you say or do should always keep this in mind. Whatever you do on-line or off innovative School Counsellors should make sure they remain focused on what is best for their students.

Ask yourself:

  • How can I keep my students needs a priority?
  • What is it I need to do that will make a difference for this students at this moment?
  • How is what I am doing by being innovative going to help students or other School Counsellors ( helping other School Counsellors or educators is helping students)

BE HELPFUL

No matter what school counsellors do with and for students on-line and off they should always remember to be helpful.   Being innovative means school counsellors will be able to not only help the students in their offices , but will find ways to assist all students in their buildings. img_2793

School Counsellors could also impact those beyond the walls of their own schools and potentially see the world as their community.  Helping other school counsellors and educators from across the globe helps students worldwide! How exciting and innovative is that?

Ask yourself?

  • How can I be most helpful for this student today and in the future?
  • How can being innovative help the students and staff in my school?
  • How can I help other school counsellors and educators worldwide?

MODEL WHAT YOU HOPE FOR  digital citizenship

If you want students to be good digital citizens then you too must become excellent role models.img_2794 This is vital if school counselors are to really help students into the future. Being innovative means acting on this today. Everything you post should be helpful, ethical and model what it is you hope students will do.

Ask yourself:

  • How can I become a digital citizen?
  • What skills do I need to assist me on this journey?
  • How do I connect with other school counsellors and leaders who are already great digital citizens?
  • How can I pass on to students what I learn?

The 5 C’s Connect Confidentiality Collaborate Create Celebrate

Connect

As school counsellors you know how important a working alliance is to making a difference. Connecting with students is essential to being and modelling an innovator’s mindset. Connecting with other school counsellors online and off can affect everything you do to develop your Comprehensive School Counselling Program Plan. Connecting allows you to reflect on the work of others as well as reflect on your own practices. There are so many ways to connect.  One of the most innovative people I have connected online with is Erin Mason @ecmmason . Thank you for all you do and if you haven’t connected with her and SCOPE please do. Here are a few examples of other ways to connect :

  • staff meetingsimg_2795
  • district meetings
  • Twitter (#scchat #sccrowd)
  • google hangouts
  • blogs
  • vlogs
  • facebook
  • Blab
  • Voxer
  • local leadership councils
  • writing articles
  • mentorship
  • supervising student counsellors ( a great way to give back )

Ask yourself? What are some innovative ways I can connect with other educators?

Confidentiality is essential for anyone with a school counsellor innovator’s mindset . If you are sharing on-line and want to learn with and from others you must remember to keep this at the forefront of everything you post.

Innovators know that with new technologies developing all the time it is vital to always get permission when sharing all the great things students do. It’s great to share what your prevention teams are doing , but always make sure students have signed their media consent forms. Always keep in mind when posting online that you should never breach confidentiality. When discussing cases (if you do so when connecting with other school counsellors on any social media space) never give out any identifying information in any way.

Collaborate To come up with some of the best ideas of what works for students collaboration is key.  Together school counsellors are better. Students benefit when we put our minds together to help them. Often when schools work together to assist students they come up with better ways to help them. Thank you Erin Luong  @ehordyskiluong for collaborating with me on this post! You are an amazing school counsellor with an innovator’s mindset.

Create School Counsellors now more than ever are finding ways to create to meet the needs of all the students in their schools. Collaboration assists school counsellors in the creative process. Whether you are creating a YouTube video to introduce yourself to share with your school community or creating something  you can use in classroom lessons. You know school counsellors with an innovative mindset create something that matters.

Celebrate  not only should school counsellors celebrate what is happening within their schools , but should recognize that sharing and celebrating what they do through social media can lead to new ways of practicing . There are many positive , helpful ways to share and celebrate what you do as a school counsellor that will assist others.

Ask yourself: How do I celebrate the work of my students, my colleagues and other school counsellors from across the world?

Build Relationships

  • Are you truly a relationship builder?

RELATIONSHIP Builders who unleash talent= School Counsellors With An Innovator’s Mindset

  • How do you unleash the talent of those around you?
  • How do you create and environment where risks are encouraged ?
  • How do you share the great work and strengths of others?

Twitter allows School Counsellors to share the great things that students and staff in your schools are doing. Twitter is truly an amazing tool to celebrate and highlight the wonderful works and lives of others. Participating in a MOOC can also have that impact.

Innovation … there is so much more to learn. Wish I had the eloquent words to thank you George Couros for  your leadership and your amazing voice. I so appreciate you for writing and sharing The Innovator’s Mindset . It is truly a gift to so many educators from around the world including me. I don’t read many books twice, but yours was worth it to reflect and go deeper.

Thank you George and Katie for creating such a powerful MOOC for not only school counsellors to enjoy , but for so many other inspirational people from across the world to learn from.

Thank you to all those in #IMMOOC you are amazing and so open to sharing and learning along with me.  A special thanks to Emily Clare @eclare_ahs for connecting with me and leading the voxer group. For the fabulous Sheri Edwards who is always inspirational so many thank you’s . To all those who shared their vlogs or blogs or tweets. I am very grateful!

I could not say it any better than Sheila Vick . You should follow her on twitter @sheila_vick. read what she had to say below:

When I reflect on why it has been so great, or what has made it so great, I realize the following:

We have been given a voice in the group.
We have had a lot of choice throughout the mooc.
We have been given autonomy throughout the mooc.
We have networked far and wide and through a variety of platforms.
We have built trust within the group which has provided a sense of psychological safety and has encouraged us to share stories and our beliefs.
We have been encouraged and empowered.
We have taken risks and stepped outside of our comfort zones.
There has been dialogue and competitive collaboration.
There has been so much reflection.
The enthusiasm and energy of the group has been contagious.
We have been encouraged to start where we are at.
We have shared the experience with many learning leaders.
We have been able to feel successful and therefore build confidence and competence.
The group has been full of fountains (no drains).
There has been a sense of empathy within the group.
We have been problem-finders and problem-solvers together.
We have created, created, created!
… and last but not least, like George, we are a group of Educators AND learners by passion.

If we can provide the above for our school counsellors, teachers and students, they can people with an innovative mindset too!

Won’t you join me in becoming a School Counsellor, educator , leader with an Innovator’s Mindset? I look forward to us collaborating. I love having a beginners mind don’t you? Find out more about IMMOOC here.

*Although not ready for this week throughout this MOOC I have been inspired to create a podcast . I will create one …any #IMMOOC ers want to help me?

To end with I’d like to CELEBRATE  a couple of people:

#1 the amazing Erin Mason a true School Counsellor Educator with an Innovator ‘s Mindset … Video #1 below.

#2 My Principal Neil O’Flaherty @neilof12 a true Innovator and the lead learner in the second Video below Bishop Carroll a Self Directed High School In Calgary Alberta. A leader who encourages and supports any and all innovation . I am so fortunate to work alongside you.

#3 Canadian School Counsellors with an Innovator’s Mindset  ( too many to mention ). Although many of you are at the beginning stages of twitter I look forward to reading and celebrating all the amazing work you do every day!

#4 YOU thanks for reading along ( if you have read this far) I appreciate you joining me on this #IMMOOC journey.

A Simple Thank You … is enough #IMMOOC

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My biggest lesson this week is what a simple thank you can do to turn your day and your mindset around. I rarely have one of those days and this week I did. I did let my administrator know (at least some of what was going on) and he did one of the best things a true leader can do . He simply thanked me for all the work I do with students . He let me know he was there for me and glad I was there for students and yes it made a difference.

I felt heard and valued. It turned my mindset around.  It freed me from the negativity I was feeling and was such a great role model for me. As a leader I forget that my staff needs a simple thank you too. I really try to remember to do that often through a note or a comment, but sometimes I forget to make the time to do what is so important. So I sent each person I work with closely with a little personal note this weekend and next week I will try to finish by sending all those who help me by giving them a note.

I was extremely honored to recieve an award last week from the University of Calgary Counselling Psychology Program.  Ph. D students I had previously supervised took the time and effort in their busy schedules to recommend me for an excellence in practicum supervision award . It was their BIG thank you and I am truly, truly grateful. They took the time to write such beautiful words and say thank you in a big way. Taking the time to thank people is truly a gift that you can give others. You have asked me to display it proudly and so I will.

However, this week that simple thank you helped to change my mindset and I believe will impact what I do next week and in the future with others.

Be on the look out for my thank you to IMMOOC.

Who will you send a simple thank you to … this week?

What if ? … #immooc

What if

we lived in a world where there was PEACE?

we had schools filled with HOPE and LOVE?

there was no child abuse or sexual abuse ?

children did not have to live in homes affected by alcohol or drug abuse ?

we did not have children who came to school starving?

we lived in a world without violence?

there was no bullying ?

kindness was on the minds of all?

no child would die by suicide?

all students with mental health disorders recieved the supports and treatments necessary?

we had all the supports necessary to assist students with special needs?

every adult who worked in schools were passionate about what they do?

every teacher, counsellor and administrator had everything they felt they needed to meet the needs of students?

no child was left out or discriminated againgst?

all people were treated like a gift to the world?

schools had enough money to do all the innovative things they wanted to?

creativity , fun and joy abounded in our schools?

music and exercise were a part of every student and educators day?

schools were more like the most comfy inviting home you were ever in?

every student LOVED coming to school to learn?

we were all more grateful?

hugs were given freely and respectfully to those who wanted or needed them?

School Counsellors  were seen as essential in every school , at every level K-12 in our country?

schools could easily access any resources and supports they needed in an easy , timely and helpful manner?

What if some of these came to reality? What if we all educated from the heart? Innovative practices would be so much easier.

 

Relationships Relationships Relationships … Great Leaders Matter

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Having worked in schools for 36 years I absolutely recognize the importance of a great leader. I am grateful to have worked with so many.

Fortunately for me I get to work with an outstanding leader everyday. He is forward thinking, innovative, positive , intelligent , has great sense of humour , cares deeply about students and staff , is extremely supportive of School Counsellors and most importantly kind. He makes a difference. Thanks @neilof12.

On this Canadian thanksgiving day , I think it is very important to tell the people who you care about and are grateful for that you do. Too often people think it , but don’t say it. I try to say it as often as I can because I recognize life is precious.

I make a point of telling those that have impacted me that they have including my students.

As a leader myself , I make every effort to be the kind of leader I want others to be. I gave my principal  The Innovator’s Mindset when it came out knowing that he was already an innovator, but also knowing like me he too is a lifelong learner.

Today most importantly I am grateful for my husband and children who have had the biggest and most positive impact on my life. Because of them I can be the kind of educator,   leader and person I want to be.

I am so… so…  so grateful for the wonderful friendships that I have in my life. They have and still do enrich and transform my life.

I am grateful for #immooc and @gcouros for having the insights and passion to make a difference in students and educators lives including mine. Thanks to all those in #immooc who have connected and shared with me. I am grateful. I believe very strongly when we are excited about learning we pass that on to all those around us and can make a real difference in the life of a child. Isn’t that why we chose this profession?  Yes, George relationships do matter … they are absolutely everything.